Democrat Hayden Rogers has a huge financial advantage in the 11th District Congressional race as Republicans Mark Meadows and Vance Patterson go into tomorrow’s July 17 runoff election to determine who will face him in the fall.
Rogers, a Brasstown, N.C. resident who previously worked as incumbent Rep. Heath Shuler’s chief of staff, has raised about $491,000 since entering the race to succeed his former boss about five months ago. The sum is more than the total raised, excluding personal loans, of both GOP candidates combined.
The Rogers campaign raised about $176,000 of its total from April 19 to June 30, according to the latest reports filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). It had about $192,000 cash on-hand as of June 30 and no debt. About 63 percent of the total haul has come from individual donations, according to the FEC. In a July 16 press release touting the numbers, the Rogers campaign boasted that about 70 percent of those individual contributors live in Western North Carolina. About 37 percent of total campaign contributions came from Political Action Committees.
“I am overwhelmed and incredibly thankful for the support that our campaign has continued to receive from so many people across the 11th District,” Rogers said in a written statement. “For the second quarter in a row, hundreds of voters in Western North Carolina have thrown their support behind our message and added their name to our grassroots campaign. It’s a testament to the strength of our campaign and shows we have the support and trust of the people of Western North Carolina to win in November.”
In contrast, the Meadows campaign raised about $229,000 in total since it began last year. Roughly 40 percent of that came from individuals and 7 percent came from PACs. Meadows, a Cashiers, N.C. real estate developer, loaned his own campaign about $264,000; most of that total is listed in the latest FEC report as debt. The campaign had about $33,718 cash on-hand as of June 27, according to the FEC.
Patterson’s campaign was even more strapped, reporting a cash deficit of almost $10,000 and an overall debt of about $555,000 as of June 30, according to the FEC. The Morganton, N.C. businessman has almost entirely self-funded his campaign, loaning it $322,000 since he started running last year. Individual donors chipped in another $10,531 and the campaign accepted no PAC contributions, according to the FEC.
Meadows is the frontrunner in the GOP runoff, having won 38 percent of the vote in the May 8 primary compared to Patterson’s 24 percent. And despite the current financial picture, the victor will likely be favored to win in November, given that the newly redrawn district is the most conservative in the state. It no longer includes much of Asheville but continues to encompass large swaths of western and northern Buncombe County.
It’s likely that the Republican runoff winner will get a big fundraising boost soon after the inter-party feud ends; in recent days Meadows has been garnering national endorsements.